More Tour de France cycling teams than ever before want to also take part in this year’s Arctic Race of Norway. The fourth annual race around selected portions of Northern Norway is due to start rolling on August 11.
That’s not long after the gruelling Tour de France ends, but weary racers appear keen to get back on their bicycle seats and pedal their way around and over mountains and along fjords.
The spectacular scenery tied to the Arctic Race of Norway is just one draw. The race attracts top cyclists, many of them lobbied by the newly retired Norwegian cycling Thor Hushovd. He’s the official ambassador for the Arctic Race, and told news bureau NTB that he knows of several top teams eager to join the race line-up.
This year’s race starts in Fauske, crosses the Arctic Circle and ends in Bodø three days later. Plans are afoot to extend the race over the border towards Murmansk in 2017. That would bring even more attention to the border area between Norway and Russia, which lately has been better known for turmoil and conflicts over an influx of asylum seekers.